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Agents of Chaos : Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters

Agents of Chaos : Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters - 90 edition

ISBN13: 978-0878422432

Cover of Agents of Chaos : Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters 90 (ISBN 978-0878422432)
ISBN13: 978-0878422432
ISBN10: 0878422439
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 90
Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Co., Inc.
Published: 1990
International: No

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Agents of Chaos : Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters - 90 edition

ISBN13: 978-0878422432

Stephen L. Harris

ISBN13: 978-0878422432
ISBN10: 0878422439
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 90
Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Co., Inc.

Published: 1990
International: No
Summary

The book explores the seismic and volcanic hazards that will affect the lives of countless people. Agents of Chaos is not alarmist, but attempts to answer readers' questions about where, when, and why large earthquakes and volcanic outbursts occur. It pinpoints potential dangers and shows what is likely to happen when the next great earthquake strikes.

From the back cover: "Discover the Earth in geologic terms, to recognize that long periods of quiet stability are interrupted by sudden and violent change--gigantic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts, and other cataclysmic events--affecting millions of lives. These shocks to human complacency, whether they strike California, Missouri, New York, or South Carolina, remind us that our planet, subject to chaotic forces, pulsates like a living organism."

Author Bio

Harris, Stephen L. :

"To see a glacier, witness an eruption and feel an earthquake" -- so G.K. Gilbert, a former head of the U.S. Geological Survey described the "natural and legitimate ambition" of a "properly constituted geologist." By good fortune, Stephen L. Harris, author of Fire Mountains of the West, grew up in western Washington where mountain glaciers are abundant, earthquakes almost guaranteed every decade, and volcanoes periodically stage awe-inspiring eruptions. During the last several decades Harris has experienced intimately some of nature's most spectacular powers. He has climbed over, under, and inside active glaciers, scaled icy mountains to camp inside steaming craters, shuddered with the thrill of the earth trembling beneath his feet, and viewed a death-dealing volcanic eruption at close range.

A Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Cornell University, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature (1964), Harris is now a professor of Humanities at California State University, Sacramento. While he has taught and published in the fields of world literature and religious studies, he has also maintained a passionate interest in geology. Besides teaching a course on "Volcanoes and the Human Environment" for the CSUS Geology Department, he has published three books and a series of articles interpreting geologic processes for the general reader. Harris' first book Fire and Ice: The Cascade Volcanoes (Pacific Search and The Mountaineers, Seattle) sold more than 100,000 copies. Fire Mountains of the West: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes (Mountain Press Publishing, 1988) presents information on the Cascade volcanoes including the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Harris has written cover stories on volcanic and earthquake hazards in the West for American West and Pacific Northwest magazines, as well as for numerous newspapers. His column, " Western Geology Illustrated," appears regularly in American West. Agents of Chaos, his third book, was published in 1990 by Mountain Press Publishing.

Having made geology his avocation, in 1980 Harris found himself aboard an ABC television helicopter circling the summit of the crater of St. Helens, then in active eruption. He was Ted Koppel's guest on four different broadcasts of ABC's NIGHTLINE. During 1980-1984 he appeared on dozens of television and radio talk shows, solo news interviews, and TV specials on volcanic activity in the West. Harris was the subject of a half-hour long segment of the television series "World Figures" (also called "Follow the Sun" in some Japanese and PBS showings) produced by Japan's celebrated interviewer Mrs. Kaoru Nakamaru. In addition, he is an experienced public speaker who has lectured to large audiences at western universities and before many professional organizations. Stephen Harris is a dynamic and enthusiastic individual who would provide lively discussions for any interviewer and their audience.



Table of Contents

Part I. Earthquake Hazards in the United States

1. Agents of Chaos
2. Experiencing an Earthquake
3. Plates in Motion: Our Dynamic Earth
4. The West Is a Geologic Crazy Quilt
5. The California Earthquake of 1989
6. California's Deadly Earthquakes
7. When the "Big One" Hits California
8. Plates in Collision: Alaska's "Superquakes"
9. Giant Earthquakes: A Possibility for the Pacific Northwest
10. The Earth Stretches Its Skin: Death Valley and the Great Basin
11. Earthquakes in Unexpected Places: The Catastrophic New Madrid Quakes of 1811-1812
12. Where and Why Destructive Earthquakes Will Strike Next


Part II. Volcanic Hazards in the West

13. Mount St. Helens: A Lethal Beauty
14. The "Other" Cascade Volcanoes
15. Scenery and Solitude: Lassen Peak and the Medicine Lake Volcano
16. What's Brewing Near Mono Lake?
17. The Columbia River Plateau: Chaos from Heaven
18. The Snake River Plain: Tracking a Geologic Hot Spot
19. Torrents of Fire: Eruptions That Can Devastate a Continent
20. The Fiery Realm of Madame Pele: The Volcanoes of Hawaii
21. The Hawaiian Hot Spot
22. Alaska's Mountains of Ice and Fire
23. The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes: Katmai National Park
24. Volcanic Hazards in the West: An Overview


Part III. Ice and Fire, Myth and Reality

25. A Look Back into the Ice Age: Glacier Bay, Alaska
26. Glacial Lake Missoula: The World's Largest Flood
27. Fire Under Ice: The Steam Caves at Mount Ranier National Park
28. Indian Myth and Geologic Reality: The Bridge of the Gods
29. Geomythology: The Battle of Llao and Skell
30. Cosmic and GeologicViolence: Learning to Cope with Chaos

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